When your office window at Auckland University of Technology has a view of the Sky Tower, it serves to keep you motivated to reach for the sky in all that you want to achieve in your life. But when mid-life health problems curtail your energy and you can hardly get through your day without stopping to have an afternoon nap, and you struggle to find the energy to support the hundreds of students who rely on you each day, it’s tough. However, this wasn’t the only concern for Danni – it was not having enough energy to compete in her dressage events with her beautiful horse, Kirby.

I had been struggling by myself to try and manage my health after developing Graves disease, a congenital hyper-active thyroid condition that started to occur in my menopause years. This was triggering a heart condition that threw me into atrial fibrillation intermittently, and put me at high risk of potentially suffering a stroke.  But like most working mothers I just put my head down and kept going, hoping it would all resolve itself. My afternoons became a drag and I relied on sugary foods and cat naps to get through most days.  Night after night I wasn’t sleeping and then trying to get through my own studies, I was up at all hours of the night at the computer. I had no idea how much this was impacting on my health and making my thyroid function even worse, until I wound up in hospital and had to take three months off work and put my PhD on hold.  After radio-active therapy I was plunged into hypo-thyroidism and started stacking on weight I simply couldn’t shift.   All I knew was that I didn’t want this to be ‘my lot’ for the rest of my life.  I began to get concerned about how healthy I might be as I got older – what a drag I was becoming on my family and whether I would still be able to ride my beautiful horses.”

 Graves‘ disease, also known as toxic diffuse goiter, is an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. It frequently results in and is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. It also often results in an enlarged thyroid. The exact cause of many autoimmune thyroid disorders, such as Graves Disease which Danni had been diagnosed with, is unclear, but research supports that a combination of genetic and environmental factors are involved. Whilst Graves Disease requires specific medical management, I knew that menopause insomnia, low energy and weight gain would also be impacting on her thyroid health as well. The double-whammy of Graves Disease and menopause was a ticking time bomb for her long-term health if she didn’t start sleeping properly.

[Graves Disease, Mayo Clinic Image]

That’s why I was so pleased that Danni came into the MyMT ‘Transform Me’ weight loss programme.  Her first module/ webinar that she listened to was simply called ‘Sleep All Night’. As I explain in this powerful module, when we don’t sleep, our immune system doesn’t restore our health overnight and this alone can lead to all sorts of health changes as we age. For women not sleeping in their menopause transition can lead to fibromyalgia, thyroid problems and cardiovascular disease.

In this first module, women discover how to restore their circadian rhythm specific to their menopause transition.  And how excited was I for Danni, when her email arrived in my in-box after listening to this powerful module. 

OK!  Just been listening to the sleep tutorial and it is AMAZING! Can’t believe I have got it so wrong for so long … I’ve always needed a mid-afternoon nap because I’ve been awake in the night and so tired during my day.”

Danni is a university educator who is not only teaching but also completing her doctoral studies. She’s a busy woman and I knew she would love the progressive ‘steps’ of the MyMT™ programme as other women do too, which allows women to listen to each module when it suits them to. Every module arrives in their member area every fortnight from joining up. Over the 12 weeks, there are 7 modules to listen to (40 minutes each) as well as my private coaching information which I share via the MyMT™ Coaching Community pages on facebook. I’ve designed the programme this way so that busy women like Danni, have time to listen to each webinar and think about how they can make the lifestyle changes that will allow their body to adjust to their hormonal changes in menopause. I was delighted as Danni’s emails kept coming over the 12 week course.

“BTW lost 2 kg already and nearly sleeping through the night, walking every morning and swapped my diet around so protein and carbs earlier as per your nutrition planning.  So a happy Danni.” 😊XX

But what I loved the most were her final comments after completing the course,

When I heard about Wendy’s programme, the light bulbs went on for me as I realised how much more I could learn about the body I thought I knew.  And to be honest, it was pretty straightforward once I followed the weekly goals and stuck to them.  I even coped with the challenges of liver-cleansing while cooking for our extended Irish family over the Christmas festive season!  My Doctor is much happier with my thyroid and heart health, ,I’ve lost 5 kg and I’m feeling great – no more afternoon sleeps, heaps of energy and I feel in control of my life again. I’m full steam ahead with completing my doctorate.  And I have the energy to do what I love to do, which is to go skiing with my husband and three adult sons, and spend time riding my beautiful horses, Kirby and Harley. I’ve even taken the plunge and bred a foal which is due to be born in October, as I plan to continue horse-riding into my 60s and beyond.  I can’t thank MyMT enough. Truly life-changing.”  Danni. xx  

I’m so pleased that a casual conversation about menopause and the MyMT™ Transform Me programme led to Danni coming on board with me. As so many women discover as they arrive in their menopause transition, it’s tough to not be entirely on your game with your health and seeing your usual-vibrant-self, succumb to rock-bottom energy levels and symptoms that are getting you down. It’s because of women like Danni, who do so much to help others, that I created the My Menopause Transformation programmes. When you are ready, I hope you can join me too. Women call the programmes ‘life-changing’ and I know you will too.

Wendy Sweet, PhD/ Women’s Healthy Ageing Researcher & MyMT™ Lifestyle Change Coach. 

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